"predictive policing"

Predictive policing predicts police harassment, not crime

In Chicago, the "Heat List" system is used to direct policing resources, based on data-mining of social media to identify potential gang-members; the model tells the cops where to go and who to arrest, and is supposed to reduce both violent crime and the likelihood that suspects themselves will be killed -- but peer-reviewed analysis (Scihub mirror) of the program shows that while being on the Heat List increases your chances of being harassed and arrested by Chicago PD, it does not improve crime rates. Read the rest

To hell with the Trolley Problem: here's a much more interesting list of self-driving car weirdnesses

Jan Chipchase has assembled a provocative, imaginative, excellent list of "driver behaviors in a world of autonomous mobility" that go far beyond the lazy exercise of porting the "trolley problem" to self-driving cars and other autonomous vehicles, including flying drones. Read the rest

Exclusive: Snowden intelligence docs reveal UK spooks' malware checklist

Boing Boing is proud to publish two original documents disclosed by Edward Snowden, in connection with "Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Extraordinary Rendition," a short story written for Laura Poitras's Astro Noise exhibition, which runs at NYC's Whitney Museum of American Art from Feb 5 to May 1, 2016.

Racist algorithms: how Big Data makes bias seem objective

The Ford Foundation's Michael Brennan discusses the many studies showing how algorithms can magnify bias -- like the prevalence of police background check ads shown against searches for black names. Read the rest

Software to predict crime scenes

Santa Cruz, California police are testing prototype software that predicts where crimes may be committed in the next few days. The deputy chief of police thinks that it may help police patrol areas that aren't hotbeds of shady activity. Santa Clara University mathematician George Mohler developed the algorithm. From New Scientist:

Some crimes follow potentially predictable patterns. One burglary, for example, tends to trigger others nearby in the next few days, rather like aftershocks from an earthquake. In 2010, Mohler's team turned equations used to predict aftershocks into the basis for a program that uses the dates and times of reported crimes to predict when and where the "after crimes" will occur.

On average the program predicted the location and time of 25 per cent of actual burglaries that occurred on any particular day in an area of Los Angeles in 2004 and 2005, using just the data on burglaries that had occurred before that day…

Mohler and his colleagues will conduct a controlled experiment with the Los Angeles police department later this year. Officers will run the prediction algorithms as they do in Santa Cruz, but patrol only half of the locations it flags. They will then compare crime levels in the two groups.

"Cops on the trail of crimes that haven't happened" (New Scientist)

Santa Cruz Experimental Predictive Policing Software (UC Santa Cruz) Read the rest

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